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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Origins Available: English, German

Where did the English Asher family come from? What is the English Asher family crest and coat of arms? When did the Asher family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Asher family history?


Anglo-Norman names are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. When the Normans became the ruling people of England in the 11th century, they introduced a new language into a society where the main languages of Old and later Middle English had no definite spelling rules. These languages were more often spoken than written, so they blended freely with one another. Contributing to this mixing of tongues was the fact that medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, ensuring that a person's name would appear differently in nearly every document in which it was recorded. The name has been spelled Asher, Ascher, Asser, Hasher, Hasser, Hascher, Aschey, Aisher, Aza, Azor, Ascer, Passer and many more.

First found in Staffordshire where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor. After the Battle of Hastings in 1066, William, Duke of Normandy, having prevailed over King Harold, granted most of Britain to his many victorious Barons. It was not uncommon to find a Baron, or a Bishop, with 60 or more Lordships scattered throughout the country. These he gave to his sons, nephews and other junior lines of his family and they became known as under-tenants. They adopted the Norman system of surnames which identified the under-tenant with his holdings so as to distinguish him from the senior stem of the family. After many rebellious wars between his Barons, Duke William, commissioned a census of all England to determine in 1086, settling once and for all, who held which land. He called the census the Domesday Book, [1] indicating that those holders registered would hold the land until the end of time. Hence, conjecturally, the surname is descended from the tenant of the lands in that shire. A John ap'Asser was canon of St David's in 1218 from which we they get the surnames Passer and Pasher.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Asher research. Another 233 words (17 lines of text) covering the years 1275, 1510, 1600, 128 and 108) are included under the topic Early Asher History in all our PDF Extended History products.


More information is included under the topic Early Asher Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


For many English families, the political and religious disarray that plagued their homeland made the frontiers of the New World an attractive prospect. Thousands migrated, aboard cramped disease-ridden ships. They arrived sick, poor, and hungry, but were welcomed in many cases with far greater opportunity than at home in England. Many of these hardy settlers went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Among early immigrants bearing the name Asher or a variant listed above were:

Asher Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • George Asher, who landed in New York in 1739
  • John Asher, aged 28, arrived in Virginia in 1773

Asher Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Edward Asher, who arrived in Tippecanoe County, Ind in 1845
  • Aron Asher, who landed in Mississippi in 1850
  • A Asher, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851
  • Charles Asher, who arrived in Mississippi in 1852
  • Conrad Asher, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1855

Asher Settlers in United States in the 20th Century

  • Asher, who emigrated to America, in 1903
  • Albert Asher, aged 61, who landed in America from London, in 1903
  • Albert Asher, aged 64, who settled in America from London, England, in 1906
  • Adelaide Asher, aged 33, who arrived at New York City, N.Y., in 1924

Asher Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • J. Asher arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Bardaster" in 1839
  • M. Asher arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Bardaster" in 1839
  • John Asher, aged 32, arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Hydaspes" in 1851
  • Mary Asher, aged 26, arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Hydaspes" in 1851
  • John Asher, aged 32, arrived in South Australia in 1851 aboard the ship "Hydaspes"

Asher Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • A Asher landed in Auckland, New Zealand in 1843
  • M Asher landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1843
  • Thomas Asher, aged 23, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Waitangi" in 1874
  • Mary Asher, aged 27, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Waitangi" in 1874


  • Michael Max Asher (1943-2012), American conceptual artist
  • William Milton Asher (1921-2012), American four-time Emmy Award nominated television and film producer, film director, and screenwriter
  • Tony Asher, American lyricist
  • Lee Asher (b. 1976), American magician
  • John Mallory Asher (b. 1971), American actor and director
  • Irving Asher (1903-1985), American motion picture producer
  • Neal Asher (b. 1961), English science fiction writer
  • Jane Asher (b. 1946), English actress and novelist
  • Peter Asher (b. 1944), American artist and record producer
  • Michael Asher, British explorer and author



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  1. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)

Other References

  1. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  2. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
  3. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
  4. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
  5. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  6. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  7. Foster, Joseph. Dictionary of Heraldry Feudal Coats of Arms and Pedigrees. London: Bracken Books, 1989. Print. (ISBN 1-85170-309-8).
  8. MacAulay, Thomas Babington. History of England from the Accession of James the Second 4 volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879. Print.
  9. Library of Congress. American and English Genealogies in the Library of Congress. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. Print.
  10. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  11. ...

The Asher Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Asher Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 5 March 2014 at 12:30.

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